Sunday, November 22, 2009

Great Book - Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan

It's been a while since I consumed a book and read it quickly. Carrie Ryan's The Forest of Hands and Teeth was such a book. I knew it ensnared me in its web when I misplaced the book and search fifteen minutes for it. Most of time I would've simply picked up another book to read but I couldn't wait to see what happened so I searched the house for it.

I highly recommend the book for adults. It may be YA but the book was entertaining and quite wonderful with its zombieness. (This is my first YA book in years. I normally do not read the genre unless the book hooks me in.) Now I understand why the book has done well and my agent sold it. Fabulous book! I highly recommend it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Writing and Music

Music is one of those mediums that helps drive my writing. Whether I am working on something dark or light, I prefer to have music in place to help set the mood. Not to say I haven't written in silence, but if I have my heroine and hero beating up bad guys I most certainly wouldn't use some let's-hold-hands-and-make-world-a-better-place music. Now my tastes are eclectic. At first, I always listened to R&B or even rap. But college and a cousin with an undying love for Prince (if you don't know about the great purple one...I'm so sorry. Cue the tears and a single dove released.) revealed a vast library of music I hadn't heard before. In particular Stevie Wonder and P-funk. I was like Flashlight, Brickhouse. Whoa! Bootay Shake!

But well, when it came to writing, I found that I couldn't work with my standard set of music. For me, certain music evoked emotions within me that compelled me to write scenes. And well Rumpshaker from Wreckx N Effects from high school doesn't give me those write romance/urban fantasy/ummm whatever genre feeling. And well, I write paranormal, so I need that creepy, dark stuff, or I need that light quirky stuff I heard in college like Blue's Traveler's Run Around. One of my favorites--I love her music, is Me'shell Ndegéocello. Her music has such feeling and I feel compelled to write. And thus the music does its job. Sometimes I don't feel like writing, but all it takes is the right song at the right time and I feel something that makes my fingers want to get the scene out. Even if its a song I would not listen to while in the car, if it has that "vibe", I'm more than willing to listen to it to fall into the moment. =)

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Nano Down the Draino

Well, my Nanowrimo has not gone well. I'm officially out on submission and my mind is in lalaland doing a strange dance. I've gone back to my third book and I would love to knock it out by the end of the month. (Yeah right.)

At this point I've made little progress. I wish I was much farther along by now:

Shawntelle's Third Book:
Novel Progress

It doesn't help that I work more now than I used to. As an independent developer I work as often as I have work. And of course I have plenty to do during the day.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Confessions from a Reality TV Junkie

Would everyone in the room who is addicted to reality television raise their hand.

*Raises hand*

If you are a reality television watcher like myself you love to watch the train wrecks as they happen. As a writer, reality TV for me is the ultimate idea generator. In the past I've watched:

  • The Millionaire Matchmaker
  • Flipping Out
  • How Clean is Your House
  • Hell's Kitchen
  • Project Runway
  • So You Think You Can Dance
  • Real Housewives of [Fill in the City - Atlanta, Orange County, New Jersey, you get the drift]
  • American Idol
  • Punk'd
  • The Biggest Loser
  • Moment of Truth (OMG, the word work train wreck is not good enough for this one...)
  • Trading Spouses
  • Nanny 911
  • Tabitha's Salon Takeover (Luv this show!)

I'm leaving out classics like Jerry Springer and Maury Povich (the real who's my baby-daddy show). To be honest, I couldn't get into Survivor or Dancing with the Stars. I tried, but it wasn't entertaining to me. I guess they didn't have enough of that hot mess factor I was looking for. :D

So what have these shows taught me? That if I can't think of unique characters for my books, then these places are filled to the hilt with ideas for me to tap, flip in a bowl, and slap in pan to sizzle into something interesting. Take the chef from Hell's Kitchen for example, he is a potty mouth chef from England. He treats the other chefs like crap, but I love to watch this show. (As well as the F Word on the BBC. Another BBC America addict here.) With all those personalities trying to cook a risotto properly there's bound to be a scene hiding in there somewhere to twist with a paranormal idea. Either with a loud mouth contestant or one who seems to have poor fashion sense.

So grab that remote folks and pull out that research paper. You can find plenty of what-if scenarios to utilize in your manuscript.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Day 1 of Nanowrimo

Well, its the morning of day 1 and I've survived October. My agent approved my edits yesterday. Woo hoo! So I should be heading toward the rolling plains of Submissionville soon enough. For my nano novel titled, Seduced (that is the shortened name), I have already conquered 650 words. *pumps fist* Of course, it was midnight and I had the likelihood of typing out "Work makes Jack a dull boy." about fifty times. But after a quick look see I have determined I wrote coherent words with dialog.

For my third book, which I still plan to continue working with I reached this far:

Shawntelle's Third Book:
Novel Progress

Not bad, actually. I wanted to be at 50%, but 10% off is not a failure. I may be able to reach 75% by the end of nano. I didn't want to edit two books at once, but in the future that may happen so it may be for the best.